Looking for the best SpyFu alternatives? Read on.
SpyFu is a suite of marketing tools for PPC and SEO competitor analysis.
It allows you to check every place your competitors have shown up on Google, including the keywords they’ve purchased on Google Ads, ad variations they’ve published, and landing pages they’re using for conversion.
And while its a quality platform, it’s not the perfect tool for everyone.
For starters, it doesn’t have any SEO audit capabilities.
Plus, some users may think it’s keyword research, backlink analysis, and rank tracking functionality is weaker than other tools.
Or that its PPC insights may not be as robust as other platforms in certain areas.
So, while it is a solid competitor research tool, it does have weaknesses compared to other standalone tools and all-in-one SEO platforms.
In this guide, we’re going to look at the best SpyFu alternatives, highlight their key use cases, and discuss how they compare to SpyFu.
Let’s dive in and take a closer look at the top SpyFu competitors!
Disclaimer: This article does contain affiliate links. If you purchase a tool through one of my links I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are followed by (aff) in this article. Thanks for the support!
Top 5 SpyFu Competitors to Consider in 2021
While SpyFu is focused on PPC and SEO competitive analysis, some alternative tools provide deeper functionality in key areas such as keyword research, link building, technical audits and rank tracking.
SpyFu Alternative #1: Semrush
Best alternative use case(s): All-in-one SEO and SEM platform that includes competitor analysis, keyword research, backlink analysis, technical audits, rank tracking, PPC analysis, campaign management and planning.
Semrush is my #1 SpyFu alternative.
It’s an all-in-one platform that not only provides in-depth SEO and PPC competitor insights, but also offers loads of other functionality for running audits, analyzing traffic strategies and more.
Since Semrush is an all-in-one platform, we’ll take a closer look at each of the core digital marketing use cases below, and see how they compare to SpyFu.
The Traffic Analytics (aff) tool lets you benchmark your website traffic against your competitors. You can discover which marketing channels – organic, paid, direct, referral, or social – drive the most traffic to any site. Plus, you can map the traffic journey to discover where visitors go next, as well as check a number of engagement metrics such as the estimated bounce rate and average visit duration across different channels and devices.
Enter any domain, and you’ll discover:
- Which channels drive the most traffic.
- Which websites drive the most referral traffic.
- Which subdomains or subfolders get the most visits.
- Which pages/posts pull in the most visitors.
- Which keywords generate the most organic traffic.
- Which regions and countries drive the most visits.
- Which devices (desktop/mobile) visitors prefer to use.
- How audiences engage with the website.
- Which websites visitors head to next.
The Bulk Analytics report also lets you check the traffic stats for up to 200 different websites, including visits, unique visitors, pages/visit, average visit duration, and bounce rate. It’s a massive time-saver for agencies and businesses who want to identify essential traffic channels and referral partner sources in new or existing markets.
Editor’s note: The Traffic Analytics tool provides a behind-the-scenes look at your competitor’s entire traffic strategy, which is not something SpyFu currently provides.
If you’re interested in trying the Traffic Analytics tool, use this free 14-day trial (aff), and follow along with the traffic analysis template offered below:
The Semrush SEO Toolkit (aff) provides access to an extensive database of over 20 billion different keywords. You can segment your terms by topic and use the accurate search volume data to unearth new keyword opportunities or analyze those of your competitors.
You can use the SEMrush SEO Toolkit to:
- Discover your existing high-value keyword opportunities.
- Reveal competitor keywords and top traffic pages with advanced filters.
- Analyze URL, subfolder, and subdomain-level keyword gaps.
- Analyze up to five competitors and uncover keywords they rank for, but you don’t.
- Uncover question-based topics and untapped featured snippet opportunities.
- Perform SERP analysis to qualify keywords more accurately by looking at page-level link metrics, content type, and authority score.
- Use advanced filters to extract the highest intent terms, including ANY/ALL filters in the Keyword Magic tool.
Editor’s note: There’s a reason that Semrush was voted the best keyword research tool by over 130 SEO experts — it provides the largest, and arguably, the most accurate keyword database of any tool on the market.
SpyFu also provides a solid keyword research tool that allows you to uncover which keywords and pages are driving the most organic traffic to the site. You can also estimate the value of different keywords and perform gap analysis.
That said, Semrush is a market leader in this category and is still my preferred tool for both competitor and topical keyword research.
The Advertising Toolkit (aff) provides deep insights into your competitors’ PPC strategy, from budget and keywords to ad copies and landing pages.
You can use the Advertising Toolkit to:
- Reveal the keywords your competitors are bidding on and check how these are trending over time.
- Perform PPC gap analysis to find keywords your competitors are bidding on, but your current campaign is missing.
- Find the ad copies that competitors are using to win the click, and check which ads have been running the longest and convert best.
- Analyze the landing pages that competitors are using to convert paid traffic.
- Discover which competitors are running display ads and what creatives – text, image, or HTML – they used.
- Discover which YouTube channels and videos your competitors are running video ads on, along with the actual video ad creatives.
- Research competitor PLA campaigns and glean valuable insights into the creatives and pricing strategies they are using on Google Shopping.
Editor’s note: Semrush provides one of the best PPC toolkits on the market, and in many cases, beats standalone PPC tools.
SpyFu also offers much of the same competitor PPC analysis capabilities, as well as automated recommendations based on competitor PPC successes. In addition, you can import Google Ads templates directly into your Google Ad accounts.
One area that Semrush excels in is the ability to analyze competitor display and video campaign creatives and targeting criteria.
Additionally, I like the ability to add keywords from both the Advertising and SEO toolkits to a single master keyword list directly inside the app. The ability to merge organic and PPC keyword opportunities into a single list is a huge time-saver when it comes to planning your keyword roadmap.
The SEMrush backlink database contains trillions of backlinks, with more being added daily.
With Semrush, you can:
- Use the Backlink Analytics tool to identify unlinked brand mentions and reclaim any lost backlinks.
- Use the Link Building Tool to prospect new link opportunities, view detailed site and contact information, and send outreach messages directly from inside the application.
- Use the Backlink Gap tool to compare up to five competing websites and unearth the backlink opportunities you’re missing.
- Use the Backlink Audit tool to check for any suspicious or toxic backlinks, and create a disavow file to send to Google.
Editor’s note: Semrush now has one of the most extensive (37.2T) backlink databases on the market, and comes with several features that streamline prospecting, competitor gap analysis, link audits, and even outreach management.
SpyFu enables users to analyze competitor backlink profiles, identify gaps, and search for contact information directly inside the application.
However, I still prefer the Semrush link building toolset as I can do all of this, plus run backlink gap analysis, audit link profiles, and run outreach from inside the application.
Technical SEO Audits
The Technical Site Audit (aff) tool can quickly analyze any website’s health and produce a prioritized list of issues, like crawlability, orphaned pages, broken links, duplicate content, cannibalization, and thin content, so you can take remedial action.
You can use the Site Audit tool to:
- Audit the desktop or mobile version of a site and specify which pages to include or exclude.
- Compare selected crawls side-by-side to see how errors, warnings, and notices have changed over time.
- Run on-demand audits and schedule daily or weekly auto re-crawls.
- Send audit action tasks from SEMrush to a Trello board or other task management tools via Zapier.
Editor’s note: SpyFu doesn’t provide any SEO audit functionality. So, if you’d like a platform that also lets you run detailed technical and content audits, Semrush might be a better option.
In fact, Semrush was voted one of the top audit tools by 50+ experts.
The Semrush Position Tracking (aff) tool lets you accurately track mobile and desktop keyword rankings from country-level all the way down to the zip code.
It’s no surprise that Semrush is the top-rated rank tracker and a popular choice for agencies who need to track rankings for a range of global and local clients.
You can use the Position Tracking tool to:
- Track rankings (including your competitors) across tags, devices, locations, and different SERP features.
- Track both organic and Google Map rankings across multiple locations.
- View historical ranking performance over the last 7, 30, 60, or 90 days or set a custom date range.
- Monitor SERP feature movements (including snippets, images, videos, carousels, and ads), and quickly spot new opportunities.
- Filter out featured snippet opportunities where you have a high ranking, but don’t rank for the snippet.
- Track keyword ranking movements and trends against competitors.
- Integrate rank reports with other popular third-party reporting tools like Google Data Studio.
Editor’s note: SpyFu tracks SEO and PPC keyword ranking on both Google and Bing, whereas Semrush tracks Google and Baidu.
Semrush provides daily updates compared to weekly on SpyFu.
Semrush also recently launched a local heatmap ranking view for your website and competitors at different locations around your office and city centroid:
Local Listing Management
The Local Listing Management (aff) tool integrates Semrush and Yext to manage Local SEO.
Simply enter or adjust your NAP details in one place to maintain consistent and correct information in all the leading directories across the web.
- Ensure maximum visibility for your business by suppressing malicious duplicate entries.
- Check how well your business ranks when searching from any city location.
- Monitor and update local business information (NAP) to the primary data aggregators and dozens of authoritative directories, including Google, Yelp, Facebook, and Alexa.
- Manage and reply to all reviews, ratings, and user suggestions from Semrush.
Editor’s note: SpyFu does not provide Local SEO functionality.
White Label Reporting
Semrush’ White Label Reporting tools (aff) allows you to show the performance of SEO and PPC campaigns to clients and colleagues.
You can choose from a library of pre-built templates, customize them with the drag-and-drop report builder, and pull data from the different toolkits and other third-party tools, such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google My Business. Plus, it also integrates with Google Data Studio, so you can create more dynamic, visual reports.
Editor’s note: SpyFu only has basic reporting compared to Semrush.
The ability to pull data from all the different toolkits, as well as major third-party data sources, into a single dashboard makes Semrush a clear winner in this category.
The Client Manager acts as a CRM and campaign management portal that’s perfect for consultants and agencies working across multiple clients.
You can use the Client Manager to:
- Create customer cards containing profile data, contact info, and quick notes with necessary details.
- Monitor how the results of your client project work change over time.
- Build comprehensive custom reports to show the results of site audits, a client’s visibility in search, marketing campaigns, and more.
- Review all the reports gathered on one page that you and your clients can access at any time via the Client Portal [coming soon].
Editor’s note: SpyFu does not provide this functionality.
SpyFu Alternative #2: iSpionage
Best alternative use case(s): PPC competitor analysis.
Like SpyFu, iSpionage is a PPC and SEO competitive analysis tool that provides deep insights into competitor keywords, ads, bidding strategies, budgets, and more.
You can use iSpionage to:
- Use the Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) to gauge the profitability of your competitors’ PPC campaigns.
- Use the Ad Effectiveness Index (AEI) to identify your competitor’s most engaging and profitable ad copy.
- Get a complete view of the user journey from keywords and ads to ad copy and landing pages.
- View the results of your competitor’s A/B testing and steal their most successful ad formulas without having to waste your own budget on testing.
- View SEO data snapshots for a competitor: traffic volumes, traffic value, organic keywords, page performance, ranking trends, and more.
- Get an on-the-spot view of the full competitive landscape for any given keyword.
Editor’s note: iSpionage provides many of the same PPC insights as SpyFu, such as competitor keywords, ads, bidding strategies, budgets, and more.
But it also has a couple of unique features that let users gauge the profitability of competitors’ campaigns and get a view of the entire user journey from ad click to conversion.
Plus, it now also provides Local PPC insights so you can uncover your competitors’ local ad strategy, including their offer and landing pages.
However, there are no display or video ad insights like Semrush. And there’s no ability to perform SEO audits, analyze backlinks, and track rankings, etc.
So, if you’re looking for these capabilities in addition to the robust PPC competitor insights, then maybe consider an all-in-one platform.
SpyFu Alternative #3: Raven by TapClicks
Best alternative use case(s): PPC and SEO competitor research.
Raven is an all-in-one SEO and SEM marketing platform that includes competitor research, backlink analysis, rank tracking, technical audits, and performance reporting.
You can use Raven to:
- Find competitors’ keywords, ad copy, landing pages, and reveal their conversion tactics with the proprietary PPC algorithm.
- Analyze backlink profiles for any domain to explore loads of backlink opportunities using Majestic’s (Citation Flow and Trust Flow) link intelligence.
- Monitor keyword ranking changes in 170+ countries across Google, Bing, Baidu, and Yandex.
- Detect, prioritize, and resolve technical SEO issues with the Site Auditor.
- Run powerful, integrated, white-label reporting for clients.
Editor’s note: The SEO and PPC insights from SpyFu are more substantial, but Raven does also provide additional capabilities such as rank tracking, link analysis, and agency reporting.
Like SpyFu, Raven only updates keyword rankings every week, compared to daily updates with Semrush or standalone rank tracking tools like AccuRanker.
Raven comes at a higher price point compared to other all-in-one SEO/SEM platforms like Semrush.
SpyFu Alternative #4: Ahrefs
Best alternative use case(s): SEO competitor analysis, keyword research, backlink analysis, technical audits, content analysis, and rank tracking.
Ahrefs is a powerful all-in-one SEO toolset with a user-friendly interface that makes it ideal for analyzing competitors’ keywords, content, and backlink strategies.
You can use Ahrefs to:
- Reveal which competitor keywords drive the most organic traffic.
- Use the SERP overview report to accurately qualify keyword opportunities.
- Analyze competitor backlink profiles to find their top-linked content, plus gaps that you could capitalize on.
- Discover keyword and content gaps at the URL, subfolder, and subdomain levels to reveal new traffic opportunities.
- Unearth the most engaging content topics in a given industry or niche with the Content Explorer tool.
Editor’s note: Ahrefs is one of the best all-in-one SEO platforms, but provides weak PPC insights compared to tools such as SpyFu.
SpyFu Alternative #5: Serpstat
Best alternative use case(s): SEO and PPC competitor research.
Serpstat (aff) is an affordable SpyFu alternative that provides insights around your competitors’ SEO and PPC campaigns.
You can use Serpstat to:
- Find and compare which competitors’ pages rank for the most keywords.
- Identify the topics your competitors are using to drive traffic.
- Discover all the keywords competitors are bidding on in PPC.
- Find out which ads competitors are using for specific keyword groups.
- Reverse-engineer competitors to find their top backlink sources.
- Find, prioritize, and fix technical SEO issues in the site audit tool.
Editor’s note: Serpstat is a more affordable alternative for individuals and consultants, and includes a larger overall feature set than SpyFu.
However, the SEO and PPC data is not as robust as SpyFu. And, it starts to get expensive for team plans.
If you’re looking for an affordable option to use for a small set of sites, it’s worth considering Serpstat. But, if you have the budget for more extensive data access, or even a bigger team, then SpyFu might be a better option.
Which SpyFu Alternative Are You Going to Try in 2021?
Semrush (aff) is the best alternative to SpyFu.
It’s an all-in-one platform that not only provides in-depth SEO and PPC competitor insights but also provides loads of other functionality for analyzing traffic strategies, researching keywords, analyzing backlink profiles, running technical audits, generating white-label reports, and more.
iSpionage has many of the same PPC insights as SpyFu, plus Local PPC insights.
While Ahrefs is one of the best all-in-one SEO platforms, its PPC insights are weak compared to SpyFu.
Serpstat is a more affordable alternative for individuals and consultants. But if you have bigger teams or require more robust SEO and PPC data, then Semrush is the best alternative.
Which SpyFu alternative are you going to try?